Bar Laurel Brings a Bit of Spain to Ottawa

Jon Svazas, chef/owner of Fauna’s newest venture opened in Hintonburg in July. Bar Laurel is named for a street in Logrono, Spain famous for its tapas bars. Not surprisingly then, his menu features pintxos (one-bite foods), tapas and wine. The inspiration drawn from several trips to Spain’s Basque and Rioja regions over the past decade.

The intimate space was designed by owners Jon and Kate Svazas. They worked with The Modern Shop, Uproar Interiors, Bill Wiseborough, Chris Snow Photography and Interversion to create a fun, modern space with seating for 28 guests at tables, 14 at the bar, and another 28 on the patio, to eat and drink.

The menu is divided into Snacks, Conservas, Pintxos Morunos, Cheese, Pintxos/Tapas, and Sharing plates. It is always a little tricky ordering from a tapas menu if you are not accustomed to it. For a group dinner for four, we would recommend starting with Smoked Almonds ($6), Wood Fired Olives with serrano, manchego, rosemary, lemon, olive oil and bread ($12). From thereon, it will arrive as it is ready, so in no particular order, we would go for the Patatas Bravas with aioili/brava sauce ($6), and Bellota 42 month torreon iberico ($25/$50), Razor Clams served with crostini ($25), 12 Month Manchego ($8/$30), Quail Egg with mushroom conserva and baguette, Eggplant with burnt honey, yogurt and cilantro ($9), Squid with Merguez sausage, sofrito and orange butter, and Half Chicken with polenta, salsa rosa, mushroom and beans ($25)

The wine list is heavily focused on natural and biodynamic wines from Spain, France Italy and Canada selected by wine director Alex McMahon. We love the selection of up to 30 wines by the glass every day. The cocktail menu was created by Matt Millard and Steph Albert who between them have an extensive knowledge of sherry, vermouth and scotch. You’ll find drinks like the Jerez Sour made with Torres 5 yr brandy, lemon, burnt honey, BL, bitters, Solera 1847 float; and the Pamplona Paloma made with Capo Capo, Cocchi Rosa, Barbadillo Solear Manzanilla, grapefruit sherbet, citrus, vanilla salt, and cantaloupe. There are also 12 beer on tap or bottle.

Bar Laurel

1087 Wellington St. W., in Hintonburg

Phone: (613) 695-5559

Dinner and Bar - Monday to Saturday 5:30pm - Late

Sunday: Brunch (coming soon)